Nov 5, 2017

Sunday Salon: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan, a review

What are you reading this week? Note: my review below may contain spoilers. 

I finished The Paris Secret by Karen Swan, November 14, 2017, courtesy of William Morrow. 
The setting reminds me of two other novels, The Paris Apartment.  and The Velvet Hours. This one, however, is not based on the true life story of the Paris apartment abandoned for seventy years and found later on to contain art, paintings, and other valuables.

In this novel, inspired by the true story but with fictional characters, fine arts expert, Flora, of London, travels to Paris to a newly discovered abandoned apartment that had been closed since over seventy years ago. She and her employer discover valuable paintings and artifacts within and plan to catalogue, valuate, and finally sell the pieces, per the request of the owners, the Vermeil family. But because of Flora's research into provenance of the paintings, which include a Renoir, the Vermeils discover unsavoury truths about their family's role during WWII, possibly as collaborators of the Reich in divesting condemned Jews of their artwork.

The novel brings up this part of WWII history that has been portrayed in books and movies - valuable art plundered and slowly being rediscovered by some of their true owners or their heirs.

I gave this a five for the ingenuous plot using true history. The added romance in the story only enhanced a good reading experience. 

Thanks to a free 30-day trial Amazon Prime membership, I have borrowed a few ebooks that I hope to read before they have to be returned : 
When I'm Gone
When I'm Gone
The Writer (San Juan Islands Mystery, #1)
The Writer
Coming Clean
 Coming Clean

When I'm Gone is a thriller, as is The Writer.
Coming Clean is a memoir by a woman whose father was an extreme hoarder. I'm finding this one quite interesting. 

I also borrowed this hard cover from the library, a novel based on Shakespeare's King Lear:
Dunbar
Dunbar
Dunbar is an old man, a former mogul, who retired and gave up his shares as well as his seat on the board of trustees of his empire. He is now in a retirement home, although a luxury one, kept sedated, and is rendered literally helpless by his two greedy and conniving daughters. His third, a more sympathetic daughter, evidently comes to the rescue. I only hope the book doesn't end the way King Lear did - in tragedy.  The book is by Edward St. Aubyn, published October 24, 2017 by Hogarth. 

Weatherwise, there is quite a bit of rain this weekend, and more on the way with stormy conditions tonight, Sunday. 

Keep warm and safe, everyone! And don't forget to turn back your clocks one hour!

Visit The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date, and Mailbox Monday..

25 comments:

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I love anything set in Paris, so I’m pretty sure I’ll get around to this one soon. Thank you for sharing it! Enjoy your week.

http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2017/11/nonfiction-november-your-year-in.html

Mystica said...

I read Dunbar myself. I found it to be a frightening modern take on the King Lear story!

Harvee said...

Looking forward to seeing what makes it frightening!

Harvee said...

It was enjoyable!

Harvee said...

Mystica, are you going to review it on your blog?

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I read and enjoyed Coming Clean a few years ago...I went through a phase of reading everything I could get my hands on about hoarding (after one of my daughter's friends called me one! LOL) BTW, she's wrong. I collect things...nice things. Of course, the more we deny something, the more others believe it to be true.

When I'm Gone looks good, too. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

Aj @ Read All The Things! said...

It looks like you got an interesting variety of books. I hope you enjoy them all.

Aj @ Read All The Things!

Harvee said...

A collector is not a hoarder. A Collector is fussy about what she keeps! I understand!

Harvee said...

Thanks. I love reading different genres (except for horror).

Geybie's Book Blog said...

I hope you enjoy your new books. Happy reading and have a wonderful week. ❤️😁

Unknown said...

Dunbar sounds dark but also like something I might enjoy. I'll look out for your review.

Susie | Novel Visits said...

The Parid Secret sounds great and it's one I hadn't heard much about yet. Have a great week!

bermudaonion said...

That plot does remind me of The Velvet Hours but that's a good thing!

Kathy Martin said...

The Paris Secret does sound good. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Harvee said...

Thanks, Geybie. Most of them are borrowed!

Harvee said...

Reading it now, inbetween visits to the dentist!

Harvee said...

A new one, not out yet. I read the galley.

Harvee said...

It takes a different turn though, with fictional characters.

Harvee said...

I have a few more Paris themed books to read, too.

Elizabeth said...

I enjoyed this book too...just finished it the other day.

Thanks for the explanation about it not being the same apartment as in the other two books.

Have a great week.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
My Mailbox Monday

Harvee said...

Yes, not the same story!

pussreboots said...

They're all new to me. Have a good week. Come see what I'm reading.

Harvee said...

Many of us are Francophiles these days, lol. We love books set in Paris.

Martha Eskuchen said...

These are new to me. Coming Clean sounds interesting.

Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks said...

I have Coming Clean. But I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

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